I was really looking forward to my visit to the stylish riverside restaurant Skylon, as I had really fond memories from the first time. They have recently launched a new menu under Chef Kim Woodward, so it seemed an opportune moment to revisit.
The inside is light, bright, modern and cavernous, with high ceilings and an all-glass frontage offering killer views of the River Thames during twilight hours.
Although it had some interesting designer lighting features and vibrant summer blooms, the rest of the interior scheme felt a bit functional.
We were booked into the more casual Skylon Grill. The menu had some interesting looking dishes such as Honey Glazed Scottish Salmon, Fine Green Beans, Toasted Almonds (£21). However, the rest of the menu was a bit lacking in creativity and ambition, with dishes that you could easily find in your neighbourhood gastropub.
Nevertheless, we kickstarted the evening with the starters. I ordered the Classic Crab Cocktail, Iceberg lettuce, Apple, Celery and Mary-Rose (£13.50). I was hoping to wowed by this dish with a fresh spin on an old classic. Unfortunately, it did not really entice me and was frankly disappointing in terms of presentation. The crab was fresh, but the rest of it was utterly passable. The choice of bread was questionable for that price.
Mr. K had better luck with his starter of San Marzano Tomato Salad, Burrata, Basil Pesto, Grilled Focaccia (£8.50) . The ingredients were lovely but it felt plonked on a rather bland looking bowl rather than presented in a refined way. Thankfully it tasted delicious and my husband happily wolfed it down.
For my mains, I was in the mood for meat. The only thing that really jumped at me from the menu was the Salt Marsh Lamb Cutlets, Wild Garlic Mash, Mint Sauce (£22). So imagine my disappointment when I was told there was no lamb available. Mr. K had already eyed the Rare-breed Shorthorn Rib-Eye Steak, Field Mushroom, Tomato and Béarnaise sauce. I also went for the steak with the mushroom removed as I am allergic.
Whilst the steak itself was superbly cooked, there was precious little else. At £29.50, we felt a bit shortchanged. Even the béarnaise sauce provided for the table was not enough to share between two people!
The thick cut triple cooked chips (£3.50), however, were perfect; piping hot, crunchy-edged and well-seasoned.
Dessert was Salted Caramel Profiteroles, Vanilla Cream, Chocolate Sauce (£8.50). Although delectable, we both agreed it did not have enough hint of the salted caramel and the choux pastry was hard.
Throughout the evening, the service was below par. We had to prompt the waiters a couple of times for our drinks order. Our wine was served to the wrong table. The starters arrived before the drinks did. The staff, although impeccably groomed, looked rushed and stressed. Yes, it was a busy Saturday evening service, but Skylon has been operating for a while so I was expecting them to be on top of their game by now.
Skylon will always have its loyalists amongst the touristy and business crowds of Southbank who want to have a quick bite to eat pre-or-post theatre, meet for business or for after-work socialising. To me, the Skylon Grill menu, although newly revamped, had nothing adventurous or game changing to offer. With the burgeoning London food scene, Skylon may have a bit of catching up to do.
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N.B. All views expressed in this post are mine. I review anonymously and pay for my meals. The total cost of this meal was discounted as it was part of a Hot Dinners promotion.
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It’s crazy that established restaurants can still give unprofessional service. So disappointing!
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